I have a working prototype project using a Raspberry Pi Zero, Pi Cobbler, and a breadboard that I would like to make a little bit more permanent by wiring and soldering a prototype (perfboard) board.

My plan was to solder male header pins to the Raspberry Pi and a female header onto the prototype board to connect the two. My project uses an MCP3008 IC and some audio jacks. What I am unsure of is how to wire and solder the components on the prototype board. I was thinking I needed to solder the wires running from the components to the female header pins. I assume I will need to solder the wires from the components to the female header pins protruding underneath the prototype board. Is this correct?

EDIT: I am completely new to soldering and wiring, so I apologize for my ignorance of the vocabulary. I assumed perfboard/prototype board meant I was using a board with plated holes on both sides, which I am using.

With the male and female headers, I am trying to stack the boards together to avoid having to solder anything directly (other than the male headers) to the Pi Zero. I want to do all of the wiring and soldering on the prototype board as I am sure I will 1) screw up and 2) I am sure I will go through several iterations as I learn new things or want to add additional components.


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    \$\begingroup\$ It's not clear exactly what you are asking. Generally the most solid solutions revolve around designing a custom printed circuit board for a short-run vendor. If you are wiring on premade boards, it is a bit "anything goes" though one thing you should probably put a lot of thought into is anchoring the connector pins in a way that will survive plugging and unplugging forces without breaking, which includes making sure they don't rip the copper pads and traces they are soldered too off the board. That can still happen with a custom PCB, but typical plated through holes are much stronger. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 4, 2017 at 3:50
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    \$\begingroup\$ Assuming you are using a board with plated through holes, then the connectors will usually be strong enough when soldered down. Some jacks have screw holes on wings where you can use nuts and bolts to add to the holding strength. You can solder wires on the back side of the board, carefully laying them out. I used to use wire-wrap and associated sockets, though I don't do that so much anymore. You can use dead-bug methods, too. If you are using perfboard like I think you said, then you may need to find ways using screws, bolts, nuts, etc, so that the connectors can be tied down, solidly. \$\endgroup\$
    – jonk
    Commented Apr 4, 2017 at 4:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ChrisStratton Thank you for the comments. I've edited the original post, hopefully this adds some clarity. \$\endgroup\$
    – Bob Sakson
    Commented Apr 4, 2017 at 13:31

1 Answer 1


There's a nice tutorial on using perfboards: http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Prototype-Without-Using-Printed-Circuit-Boa/?ALLSTEPS

Basic idea is simple: place your components on the copper-free side, so that legs protrude through to the copper, to which you solder them. Try to place them in such a layout that you have to run minimum amount of wiring (especially on high-speed buses, such as SPI). Wire IC pins point-to-point, use joints to do multipoint wiring.

As for choice of headers - it's a matter of taste and wealth :) And application itself, of course. Since you mentioned audio jacks, I would assume relatively frequent plugging/unplugging action at least on the daughter board side. For that I would recommend putting headers on both sides of the board, so that you connect to both sides of the PI header as well, thus improving structural integrity a bit. You can leave those pins unconnected.


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